Maintaining independence while sharing resources
Because these individual county courts retain a great deal of autonomy over their websites, technology, content and vendors, encouraging court sites to the new shared infrastructure required selling the benefits of this shared approach, being open to discussion with the courts about individual implementations, acknowledging some modest constraints, and committing to long-term expansion and modification of the initial templates and feature set.
Our base technical approach included:
- Drupal 9
- Storybook (Pattern Library)
- Shared Hosting Platform
- Flexible Component Design
- Bi-weekly Code Deployments
Content editors and audiences should always be a high priority
Courts could easily be sold on the benefits of shared resources, but needed reassurance that the system was going to be easy to use, extendable, and provide enough useful options for creating and managing content. By creating flexible and simple components like accordions, asides (for "related information"), locations, side by side text and image elements, we could build out straightforward, readable, and approachable content for court users, especially the general public that needed information presented cleanly and clearly.
A collaborative build and ongoing support relationship
The platform now supports over 40 California Superior Court sites, and much of the maintenance work is handled by the JCC's in-house web team, with support from Chapter Three. Our long, productive relationship here also extends to work on other court websites, such as the state's recently launched Supreme Court site as well as the upcoming redesign of the statewide administrative hub for the Judicial Council, at Courts.CA.gov, where we're contributing strategic, design and development consultations and technical support.